ACPS and CCS finding ways to give free or reduced meals to students

Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 1:41 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville and Albemarle County schools are still finding ways to give out free or reduced meals, even though the Federal Free Meals Program for all students has ended.

“Through the pandemic, Congress enacted a special legislation related to COVID in which all students related to their income legibility receive free breakfast and lunch everyday of the school year,” ACPS Spokesperson Phil Giaramita said.

The Virginia Department of Education is using money from the state budget to expand who qualifies for free meals this school year. Families at or below 185% of the Federal Poverty Level now qualify, but they must apply.

Many school districts are finding other programs that allow free meals, regardless of income.

“In Charlottesville City Schools, we have three schools that are on what’s called the CEP Program,” CCS Nutrition Administrator Carlton Jones said. “That program allows for free breakfast and free lunch for all students.”

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture program is still in effect. This program allows for students in a a school, all students in the school regardless of income, to receive a free breakfast and lunch if the school reaches a significant threshold who are eligible for free and reduced lunch,” Giaramita said.

It is still important for every student in any school district to determine if they qualify.

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